by SHEN Zhihua and YU Weimin
Near the end of World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union led the formation of the Yalta system, which opened up historical opportunities for the establishment of a “new type of major power relations” between the United States and the Soviet Union after the war. The Yalta system was based on the intertwined interests and strategic coordination between major powers. However, the heterogeneity of state systems and ideologies between the two countries led to growing strategic mutual distrust and pushed the United States back to Europe, where the US confronted the USSR. Upon a backdrop in which Stalin exported the Soviet system and advocated for the world revolution, the revolution in the “middle ground” of Asia “developed beyond” the Yalta System, and an “unplanned” regional political change threw the US and the USSR into a full-scale cold war. Today’s China is distinctly different from the post-war Soviet Union, in terms of both domestic and external conditions. China and the United States are able to and should foster a new type of major power relations featuring win-win cooperation to avoid going down the road to a new Cold War.
Cause of the Cold War
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SHEN Zhihua, Director, Center for Conflict and Reconciliation Studies, The Chahar Institute, Center for Cold War International History Studies, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China
YU Weimin, Department of History, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China